|Studio album by|
|Recorded||December 21, 1963|
|Studio||Van Gelder Studio|
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
|Genre||Jazz, hard bop|
|Lee Morgan chronology|
|The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide|||
The album became Blue Note's best-selling record ever, breaking the previous sales record roughly ten times over. Record producer Michael Cuscuna recalls the unexpected success: "the company issued only 4,000 copies upon release. Needless to say, they ran out of stock in three or four days. And 'The Sidewinder' became a runaway smash making the pop 100 charts." By January 1965, the album had reached No. 25 on the Billboard chart. The title track was used as the music in a Chrysler television advertisement and as a theme for television shows. Many subsequent Morgan albums, and other Blue Note discs, would duplicate (or approximate) this album's format, by following a long, funky opening blues with a handful of conventional hard bop tunes.
Music and recording
The original album's five tracks, all written by Morgan, are heavily blues-based, and feature tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, then 26, whom Morgan (then 25) claimed at the time to be mentoring. Also present are the noted jazz drummer Billy Higgins, bop pianist Barry Harris and bassist Bob Cranshaw.
The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection" (with a crown), calling the title track "a glorious 24-bar theme as sinuous and stinging as the beast of the title. It was both the best and worst thing that was ever to happen to Morgan before the awful events of 19 February 1972," referring to Morgan's killing at the hand of his common-law wife. The album was identified by Scott Yanow in his Allmusic essay "Hard Bop" as one of the 17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings.
All songs composed by Lee Morgan.
- "The Sidewinder" – 10:25
- "Totem Pole" – 10:11
- "Gary's Notebook" – 6:03
- "Boy, What a Night" – 7:30
- "Hocus Pocus" – 6:21
- "Totem Pole" [Alternative take] – 9:57 Bonus track on CD reissue
- Lee Morgan – trumpet
- Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone
- Barry Harris – piano
- Bob Cranshaw – bass
- Billy Higgins – drums
- 2015 liner notes to the Search for the New Land SHM-CD by Michael Cuscuna
- The Sidewinder at AllMusic
- Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 147. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
- "Billboard Top LPs" (January 9, 1965) Billboard, p. 8.
- Lee Morgan biography Archived 2007-08-17 at the Wayback Machine
- Tom Cat original liner notes
- Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006). "Lee Morgan". The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th. ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 944. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
- Yanow, S. Hard Bop accessed December 7, 2009